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NYTimes Compares Conservatives Annoyed By Unhoused People To Parents Of Trans Kids Being Denied Healthcare
This weekend, The New York Times ran a story that they thought was about how liberals and conservatives were both moving to states that better aligned with their political beliefs and made them feel more safe. One of their “both sides are doing it!” and “see, we’re all making each other miserable” classics.
In actuality, they ran a story about a family who moved because their child’s civil rights were under attack and a couple of old wingnuts drunk on Facebook outrage and mad about having to look at homeless people.
These are very different things! Especially since, in one of these cases, the movers were entirely delusional. Guess which?
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Jennie and Jeff Noble recently left Iowa for Minnesota after the state implemented a law requiring school children to use the bathroom that aligned with their biological sex, not long after the state instituted a ban on gender affirming medical care for those under 18. Why? Because they wanted their transgender son to have medical care and basic human rights.
[After the state banned gender-affirming care] the Nobles weighed whether they could simply wait things out until Julien was 18, driving to Minneapolis for his biweekly testosterone shots. That way he could finish his senior year at Ankeny High School, where he had a circle of friends who supported one other.[…]
But Iowa lawmakers soon passed another bill: The G.O.P. majority barred students from using restrooms that did not align with their biological sex. The bathroom bill tipped the Noble family toward their decision to leave. Since Julien had begun using testosterone, his voice had deepened and his sideburns had grown in.
“It would be awkward if he were in the female restroom,” his mother said.
It sure would be! And, ironically, it would leave him vulnerable to attacks from those who might assume he is a cisgender boy using the girls’ room. But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? The hope is that the fear of having to walk into a girls’ bathroom clearly not looking like a girl will keep people from transitioning in the first place.
Meanwhile, Steve and Ginger Huckins moved from Portland, Oregon, to Troy, Missouri because they “believed a broad swath of progressive policies had degraded their quality of life” and because Portland’s tolerance of homeless encampments, along with the open use of hard drugs and rising crime, had filled them with despair.” They wanted to move to a red state, where they would feel safe and could see American flags flying in front of people’s houses.
Driving around their new hometown in June, about an hour outside St. Louis, they admired the old Victorians and a tractor defying the minimum speed limit on a state road.
“One thing I do like about Missouri, there’s lots of American flags,” Mr. Huckins said as he steered around a traffic circle where the Stars and Stripes flapped crisply on a pole. “In Portland, the American flag was offensive.” […]
For the Huckins family, Portland became “unsafe, unsanitary and scary,” Mr. Huckins said. “We had five or six security cameras in our house.”
It’s lovely that they are happy, that they feel safer, and that they are not annoying the good people of Portland with their bullshit. Couldn’t be happier for them! But they’re also entirely ridiculous. Troy is a rural town with a population of 15,000, while Portland is a bustling metropolis with a population of about 641,000. Obviously there would be more crime there. There would also be less crime in any town in Oregon with a population of 15,000, owing to the fact that there are just fewer people to do any crime. That’s just math.
In fact, it would likely be a lot more safe, as Missouri has the ninth highest violent crime rate in the nation, while Oregon ranks 36th. Troy is an exurb of St. Louis, the city with the highest crime rate in the United States. Portland? Portland has the 62nd highest crime rate of any city in the United States, even with all them liberal policies what so frightened the Huckinses. Oh, and St. Louis only has about a third of the population of Portland.
Oh, and fentanyl? Also a problem in Missouri. In fact, it is a bigger problem in Missouri. In 2021, the last year for which the CDC has records, Missouri had twice as many drug overdose deaths than did Oregon.
Let’s take a look at the CDC’s map for that year, shall we?
So weird how the states with the highest number of overdose deaths are also some of the most conservative states in the nation.
It is true that Oregon has a higher population of unhoused people. But that is far more of a problem for the unhoused people than it is for the people who have to look at them. What do they even want the police to do? Arrest people for being poor? If you don’t want unhoused people on the street — a thing that no one, the unhoused people included, wants — then advocate for subsidized housing. Push for things that will actually solve the problem instead of demanding that it be made invisible to you.
Now, it’s fine and dandy that these people prefer rural Missouri to a city in Oregon. Everyone has their own taste. However, it’s not the same thing as having to move so that your child can get medical care and use the freaking bathroom without fear of getting in trouble at school or worse. It’s not the same thing as a state actually violating people’s civil rights.
Even the smaller examples cited in the story follow the same theme. Liberals are moving out of fear of being unable to access health care and discrimination, while conservatives are moving to be around people who agree with them.
Jesse Jordan, of Tennessee, said he and his fiancée had considered moving to Oregon after Tennessee leaders adopted a near-total abortion ban, with no exception for a fatal fetal abnormality. “It has become kind of unthinkable for us to pursue a pregnancy in this state,” Mr. Jordan said.
Brian Schmidt, a Navy veteran in rural Iowa, who is white, is saving money so he and his wife, who is of Asian and Mexican descent, can move with their 5-year-old son to a more diverse city in a blue state. Matthew Krall, an accountant, has no regrets about moving his family in 2019 to Tennessee from California, where he was frustrated by that state’s Democratic governor and liberal policies.
When Mr. Krall and his neighbors discuss politics now in his conservative suburb outside Nashville, “it’s more of an agreeable conversation,” he said.
Again — people should live where they want, but these things are not the same. There are exactly zero states in which Democrats are enacting laws that actively oppress groups of people and make it difficult for them to live there. The problem conservatives have is not with what anyone is doing to them, personally, but with the fact that people they don’t like exist at all. Every time. They are pathological busybodies who think it is the government’s job, for some reason, to make people stop disagreeing with them.
There are a lot of people out there, including many who apparently work at the Times, who believe deeply that the big problem facing America is the simple fact of “division,” not the reasons why said “division” exists in the first place. If you have one group of people saying “Hey, please stop standing on my foot” and another group of people saying “Hey, stop complaining about your crushed toes, it’s super annoying,” you can’t “heal the divide” by trying to get both parties to understand the other’s position. There are really only two options here. Either one party learns to live with the pain and pretend it isn’t happening, or the other party moves their foot and minds their own damn business. Only one of these is a viable solution.